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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Corporations...not so honourable as we once knew them

What is the state of the relationship between corporations and governments in the western world.
Think of some of the corporate names that have been featured prominently in the headlines over the last year and the reasons for those headlines. J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, BP, Toyota, General Motors, Chrysler, Enron, Halliburton are a few of the names that come to mind.
Self-serving, profit-driven, abusive of their underling workers, while compensating their executives with excessive  bonuses, fixated on the profit margins and on their relentless pursuit of investors also following the Wall Street credo, "Greed is good," announced in the movie of the same name, by Michael Douglass. They have succeeded in stripping all worker rights, most benefits that workers once enjoyed, and virtually all unions from their premises.  They have also succeeded in getting their media sycophants to spread the word of global plenty, in a world of rampant, uncontrolled globalization, while such plenty has been merely available to those whose private jets see them whooshing from Dubai to the Mediterranean and Carribean and the South Pacific for their retreats.
Environmental protection is so hated in the lexicon that is their narrow vocabulary that they have succeeded in blocking major and even emerging countries like China, India, and the U.S. and Canada from achieving anything close to emission controls.
Labour protection now looks like "take this part time job and let us see if we really want to hire you" is the mantra for most entry level positions, and there will no benefits, and no commitments from us to you unless and until we have examined your performance for at least two or three years, and even then we will still keep you on a contract so that we can avoid those commitments. After all, the economy is changing so rapidly, that we cannot make plans that would include commitments to our workers.
Oh, and as for safety of our workers, just so long as there are no accidents, and no insurance claims, and no liability on the part of our workers, well we are interested in hosting the occasional seminar, just to prove that we are taking that subject seriously.
What a shame of a sham!! And where is the worker protection in all of that? There is none; we are all like pieces of coal mined in danger, processed in haste and discarded if there is a hint of trouble.
Oh, and did we mention all those politicians whose campaigns we have funded who are now in our pockets and will do our bidding, just as they did when they removed the public option from the health care reform act, and when they removed the really stringent regulations from the financial sector reform bill.
This is a world that our executives have been dreaming of for at least a century when the robber barons were in charge. We are almost up to their level of accomplishment, and control. And to think that we did all that without firing a single shot.

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